This is what happens to most snakes when they encounter humans: they have their heads chopped off with shovels or hoes or in this case a machete. Growing up in Virginia I vividly remember neighbors cutting the heads off every snake they saw. Much of the time the person thought it was funny and somehow manly that they killed a creature 1000 Times smaller than them, which is puzzling to me. In almost every case the person thought the snake was venomous (not that a venomous snake deserves that fate either) but usually it was a black rat snake or rough brown water snake, which are completely harmless and important to controlling rodent populations which are far more dangerous to human health. This culture of killing snakes doesn’t just exist in the United States, believe me, it is healthy and alive almost everywhere I’ve been, including Peru, where people typically kill any snake they see. In some cases, with anacondas anyways, they keep the dried heads in their homes as good luck charms. The dried head you see in the hands of @paulrosolie is one such head, taken from a 15 foot female anaconda with the belief it would bring good luck. As far as I could tell the man who killed this snake and took the head has had no change in luck. This is the mission @paulrosolie and I are on: to deconstruct the myth snakes are evil and one by one convince people snakes are better off alive, for all involved. Moving forward , Paul and I are working to set up a non profit fund to reimburse people in Puerto Maldonado, Peru who lose a chicken or goat or whatever to anaconda. This is an experiment we hope makes some difference. But we need your help . The catch of course is we won’t reimburse anyone unless they have proof the anaconda wasn’t harmed and was allowed to go on its way, belly full. In cases where it makes sense we have a team of local Peruvians in place who love snakes and they will relocate them far from homes.
To learn more about how we are trying to help anacondas , and other snakes too, I am @tbfrost
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